String Quartet No.1 in G Major, Op.23
Tovey's String Quartet No.1 in G Major was completed in 1909. The opening movement, Andante pomposa e galante, is written on a large scale. The movement's marking very accurately describes the mood and style of the main theme which is extensively developed. The second movement, Pastorale, Allegretto teneramente, is an updated example of its baroque antecedent. Next comes a meditative, somewhat dreamy Poco adagio, sempre sostenuto. The finale, Allegro commodo, opens with a brief, quiet introduction before the energetic main section is brought forth.
Donald Tovey (1875-1940) was born in the English town of Eton. He studied piano privately and subsequently attended Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied composition with Hubert Parry. He enjoyed a career as a concert performer as well as a composer and served as a Professor of Music for more than 25 years at Edinburgh University. Today he is best remembered for his essays on music, but he regarded himself first and foremost as a composer. Tovey wrote in most genres and his compositions were not only respected but regularly performed in such important venues as London, Vienna and Berlin. But like the works of so many others, it has inexplicably disappeared from the concert stage. He wrote several chamber music works, most dating from the last decade of the 19th century up to the First World War.
This is a substantial quartet which is sure to make a deep impression when presented in concert. It does not pose any great technical difficulties, has good part-writing for all, is grateful to play and to hear. We are pleased to make this long out of print work available again.